A heavy rainfall can almost triple the volume of water flowing to the sewer treatment plant, due to illegal connections of roof leaders and sump pumps to the sanitary sewer lines. These illegal connections, and the resulting "inflow" of rainwater into the sewer system, cause a host of problems:
- Pump stations, such as the one in the Nyack marina, can overflow, dumping raw sewage into nearby streams and the Hudson River.
- Pumps and the treatment plant are the Town government's largest electricity consumers, so illegal connections also increase energy bills, and thus taxes.
- Inflow can cause sewage backups into people's basements.
Town employees use smoke tests and remote TV cameras to monitor the sewer lines and identify illegal connections as well as cracks that let in rainwater. You can help by being on the lookout for illegal connections and using the low-cost methods described below to protect our community and environment.
To help reduce inflow, the Orangetown DEME has partnered with volunteers to produce a brochure to educate the community about thge problem. Please download the brochure and share it with your friends and neighbors. The brochure contains tips about how the sewer and storm drain systems work and how illegal connections occur, and what you can do about it. Call my office if you have any questions or suggestions about how to tackle this problem.
Clearly, with the sewer plant being the Town's greatest consumer of electricity, we need to do everything we can to prevent the inflow of rainwater into the sewer system because this inflow raises energy costs and burdens our treatment plant unnecessarily.